Outsoles have always been and still are the key for Icebug
When talking about “rubber outsoles” for performance footwear, it’s normally a low percent of natural rubber. Icebugs outsoles contain from 23-62 % natural rubber. The rest is of the composition is made up of oil-based materials, minerals and chemicals.
Both natural and synthetic rubber require vulcanization, a chemical process for converting the rubber into a more durable material with the required properties for performance. The vulcanizing of the rubber in the outsoles requires a considerable amount of energy.
Outsoles have always been and still are key for Icebug when it comes to solve the problem of slipping. As traction experts, we are continually working to get the best possible grip from our rubber compound. From a sustainability perspective, the most important quality of the outsole is the abrasion performance. Since the outsole is directly subject to wearing, it often translates directly into the lifetime of the entire shoe. When the sole is gone, the shoe is done.
For example, Icebug RB9X compound is not only one of the most grippy compounds for dry and wet surfaces, but it is also extremely durable. We also put a lot of effort into designing and testing it to make sure that the product gets the best possible amount of material in the right place. In this way, we can secure a longer lifetime. In rubber, all components need to work together to create the performance. By having a long-term relationship with our supplier, we have built confidence in selecting the best possible raw materials.
In order to reduce waste from production during the vulcanization and trimming process, we have also invested in a recycling project. We use 20% of waste materials in the making of all new BUGrip outsoles for the Fall/Winter collections from 2019. This means that 20% less new resources will be needed for every sole production, without compromising grip or abrasion.
Icebug is a member of SATRA, an independent research and testing organization considered a leading technical authority for footwear and leather. This membership gives us access to expertise and standardized test methods. We continuously test competitors alongside Icebug, and our products score in the highest range.
Read more about Satra here